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American Rheinmetall Munitions, Inc. has been awarded a $14.3M (€13.5M contract under a US Navy Other Transaction Agreement (OTA) to prototype a low-cost engagement capability that increases the effectiveness of existing and future naval gun weapon systems against air and surface threats, Rheinmetall writes in a press release.

The resulting prototype system is to lead to an Initial Operating Capability for the 30mm x 173 MK 340 MOD 0 Kinetic Energy Electronically Timed (KEET) airburst munition. The MK 340KEET is derived from the NATO-qualified Rheinmetall 30mm x 173 Kinetic Energy Timed Fuze (KETF) cartridge currently fielded by the Australian, German, and Hungarian militaries. The system is expected to provide significant lethality improvements and a reduction in rounds fired due to the increased first-round hit probability.